I have been dying to go to my first official Oz Comic-Con. I had high expectations and had my fingers crossed right from the day the (wonderful – no seriously) media managers emailed me.
I arrived at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Center and found a free motorbike park literally right out front, I was instantly pleased with the day. However, when I entered the main foyer area I found a distinct lack of people. Yes, I had arrived early (approximately 8:30am) but when I had attended Brisbane Supanova at the end of last year at the same convention hall, it was packed by that time.
After meeting the organisational team (and being thoroughly impressed) everything was ready. No one was standing around not knowing what to do. Our names were easily found and everyone was quickly filed through, briefed, and were sent on their way.
Unencumbered by backpacks and the like I was free to roam the floor. First up was the panel of the featured cosplayers, Kyle Parmley, Shiva Cosplay, and Eve Beauregard. They talked about their experiences within the cosplay scene and as it was Kyle’s birthday, someone managed to get the audience to sing Happy Birthday to him. it was certainly a good look at what can happen within such a small community like that of cosplay.
The vendors around the con were amazing as well. Everyone was super friendly and I even managed to get to chat to a few people.“We are James and Simone from WarSword and I guess we sell weapons of minimal destruction. So we do anything from collectors, throwing knives, to whatever we can legally sell in Queensland. Our website is www.warsword.com.au and we ship all over Australia. We are finding the con a little slower than we are used to, but hopefully it will pick up soon.”
“I’m Lisa from That Crazy Place and I’ve loved seeing the efforts and detail that everyone has put into their costumes.”
“I’m Lawrence and this is Markntime Jewlery, we’re from Perth Western Australia. We started with Supanovas, but we’ve been coming to Oz Comic Cons since the first one about 3 years ago.”
The Con Floor
There certainly seemed like there was a lot more floor space between the stalls at OZCC whether that was a better floor plan (which it may have been) or just less vendors, there was certainly plenty of room for people to stop in the middle of the walk way to take photos. It was certainly easier for our new photographer Jennifer Whiting (who has amazingly supplied all the photos for this article) to get the photos she wanted. I also found it much better to be able to bounce from stall to stall without having to barge past a wave of people in my way.
I guess its just finding that perfect balance between floorspace and vendors.
Cosplay in general
When it comes to cosplay, Brisbane certainly doesn’t let the community down. We are steadily growing as a community, even as individuals when it comes to amazing cosplay. OZCC Brisbane had some amazing cosplay on both days, allowing for the photographers to have their choice of cosplayer to practice their trade.
As much as we would love to feature all the cosplayers I met on the weekend we just don’t have the space. so check out our Facebook page and tag yourself. we love the feedback we get from our readers and always look forward to meeting you all.
I did how ever get to speak with some of the cosplayers on both days and was excited to make new friends and catch up with old ones. unfortunately due to the size and number of thing going on at the con, i did miss a few people that i wanted to catch up with. but that always seems to happen.
I spoke with the amazing Leather Batman aka Ben. He tells us that each arm alone took about two and a half hours and about an hour each for the legs. The cowl took about thirty hours from paper design to the final product, and lost count on the rest of it. He also said the con was pretty cool and had bumped into a few cool people and so far it had a really good vibe.
I also spoke to John from Narangba aka Master Chief. he was a very cool guy with a very busy life but always tried to make time for cosplay. He is certainly one of the lucky ones with his wife actually getting him his Saturday pass as a surprise and telling him to go have fun. You’re one of the lucky ones John.
So how many years have you been cosplaying?
“Honestly, less than one.”
Wow thats amazing. tell us a bit about your costume.
“Well its a MK 6 Masterchief Armour. It’s made out of EVA foam glue and a lot of sweat, blood and tears.”
Over the years I have noticed a slow change in the type of volunteer employed and these kind of events. Initially, back in the day when I started in this scene, the volunteers were simply there to “assist” people in the right direction. This year at Oz Comic Con I was very impressed at every Con staff member. Throughout the weekend I would randomly ask a member where something was. And everyone was quick to assist me with accurate information and even did so with a positive attitude and absolutely zero sass (that I have received in past cons) so an absolute high five to all the con staff. They certainly deserve credit. Especially seeing as they don’t get paid.
Due to the nature of what I was trying to achieve in the very short 2 days at the con, I was only able to catch 2 panels over the entire weekend. These were the first panel of the day with our star cosplayers, and Richard Dean Anderson in the afternoon.
Once again, I was very impressed with the way the halls were managed. Simply… walk in to the hall, sit down, wait for your star to appear and enjoy the ride.
The distinct lack of “hall clearing” certainly made the transition between guests go a lot faster, and certainly less issues as far as I saw. The ones who wanted to stay for the next panel were able to stay in their seats, the ones who didn’t want to stay left through one door, and the new ones came in and filled the seats through another. I couldn’t see any reason why this can’t be done more often.
The headliner for OZCC Brisbane and Sydney, was and is, Richard Dean Anderson and those going to Sydney OZCC this weekend (26th and 27th Sep) will be very impressed with the panels and his signings. Still the ever jokester and prankster, during his panel he certainly had fun with people in the audience, having quick witted comebacks when people asked vague and silly questions. Most of which the audience had a bit of a chuckle over, then Richard proceeded to answer in the best way he could.
I was disappointed that i didn’t get to see any of the other panels but certainly stay around for the Sydney wrap up, as im sure they will get to the other stars panels and will be more than happy to tell you all about it.
On Sunday, Hall 1 filled quickly at 3pm for the annual Brisbane Oz Comic Con Cosplay Competition. I’ve never been more blown away with the amount of detail people were putting into their cosplays. This was purely the elite of the elite. Unlike other conventions, this one purely consisted of cosplayers hand made costumes. Nothing from what i saw was purchased, besides the raw materials (be it fabric, eva foam, warbla, or in the case of Libjumper cosplay, all entirely leather) which made this an exceptionally hard competition to judge. However, the judges made their decision and i totally agree with the winners they chose, and full credit goes out to them. We salute you.
The winners from the 3 categories were:
film and television and best in show: MajorSamCosplay
As an overall weekend i would say this is in my top 2 weekends of cosplay. (The number 1 being the weekend I interviewed Matthew Reilly)
The event was managed amazingly, the venue was well located and easy to get to and park, the tickets were reasonable according to the patrons, and the cosplay there certainly impressed me. The only thing it lacked was the total numbers of people that other conventions get. But as OZ Comic Con is still establishing itself as the front runner for cosplay conventions, the numbers will continue to grow. We as the community need to continue our support for OZ Comic Con and tell our friends that this is the convention of the year to mark in our calendars.